Community

Lismore hosts inaugural Artstate festival

Key stakeholders in Artstate 2017 gathered at City Hall this week for the announcement of Artstate 2017. Those pictured include Patrick Healey, General Manager of NORPA, Julian Louis, Artistic Director of NORPA, Ken Crouch, General Manager of Screenworks Northern Rivers. Anita Bellman, Director Northern Rivers Conservatorium, Peter Wood, CEO of Arts Northern Rivers, Brett Addlington, Director of Lismore Regional Gallery.
Key stakeholders in Artstate 2017 gathered at City Hall this week for the announcement of Artstate 2017. Those pictured include Patrick Healey, General Manager of NORPA, Julian Louis, Artistic Director of NORPA, Ken Crouch, General Manager of Screenworks Northern Rivers. Anita Bellman, Director Northern Rivers Conservatorium, Peter Wood, CEO of Arts Northern Rivers, Brett Addlington, Director of Lismore Regional Gallery. Sophie Moeller

LAST week saw the announcement Lismore was to be the first regional centre in New South Wales to host Artstate - a new event engaging both metropolitan, and artists of our region, in a conference and festival building on the success of last year's ARTLANDS.

The artstate launch featured Regional Arts NSW Deputy Chair Ben Roche, Peter Wood, CEO of Arts Northern Rivers, Lismore Mayor Cr Isaac Smith , CEO of RANSW, Elizabeth Rogers and Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin.
The artstate launch featured Regional Arts NSW Deputy Chair Ben Roche, Peter Wood, CEO of Arts Northern Rivers, Lismore Mayor Cr Isaac Smith , CEO of RANSW, Elizabeth Rogers and Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin. Jasmine Burke

According the CEO of Arts Northern Rivers, Peter Wood, the decision by the State government to hold the inaugural cultural event in Lismore is a clear acknowledgement of the "cultural renaissance” that has been taking place in the region in the past few years.

Mr Wood said it was the reputation the Northern Rivers had built up that enabled us to be "first cab off the rank” after ARTLANDS was held in Dubbo last year.

"This is such a great opportunity and, given the timing, such a great message to say we are still here after the flood and producing amazing work, and especially with the new gallery opening in the heart of Lismore.”

Artstate is to be funded by Regional Arts NSW (RANSW) as a four year program working in partnership with four Regional Arts Development Organisations (RADOs) to deliver an annual regional conference/arts festival.

Its aim said CEO of RANSW, Elizabeth Rogers was "to shine a spotlight on the artistic excellence of regional NSW” by exploring and activating public spaces, community engagement, film, visual arts, theatre and music across multiple genres.

The three day festival will be open to the public and take place in Lismore from November 30 to December 2 2017 in partnership with Arts Northern Rivers and Lismore City Council. It aligns with the opening of the new Lismore Regional Gallery, the activation of the new Quadrangle space and the opening of the world premiere of NORPAs new production, Djura.

Each of the speakers at the launch, which included, Regional Arts NSW Deputy Chair Ben Roche and Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, highlighted how "extraordinary” the artistic community was in Lismore especially in light of the recent "devastating events” but emphasised Artstate was about the whole of the Northern Rivers.

Lismore Mayor, Isaac Smith said the event recognised Lismore's "untapped potential” and it would take the city to the wider country.

"It's about what our community is and does and will be for the future,” he said.

Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Addlington at the new gallery site in the centre of the city a month after the flood.
Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Addlington at the new gallery site in the centre of the city a month after the flood. Sophie Moeller

WHILE down, "Lismore is definitely not out”, say the key players responsible for the region's main art bodies based in the city.

In fact, there are many positives to come from the recent flood that engulfed both NORPA's City Hall and the new Regional Art Gallery, currently under construction.

For Brett Addlington, the gallery's director, the recent event - which saw the bottom floor inundated and the new lift about to be installed destroyed - has "just sharpened our thinking around our flood preparation plan”.

Brett admits to having felt "sickened” at initial reports of the water levels, possible perceptions of the floods impact on the building, as well as the feelings of those working on the site. However, he says: it looks like the damage has only put the building's completion back four weeks.

"I see it now as a great test of the building ...but more importantly, it has demonstrated the strength of the arts community in this city,” he says.

"And, I think it will also play a role in boosting morale moving forward, especially with the opening at the end of October which coincides with the Artstate festival at the end of the year.”

NORPA general manager Patrick Healey and artistic Director Julian Louis at City Hall.
NORPA general manager Patrick Healey and artistic Director Julian Louis at City Hall. Sophie Moeller

NORPA's artistic director, Julien Louis, says the flood has made the national arts community more "aware of the significance” of our performing arts company.

What makes NORPA "distinct” has not changed, he says.

"Part of our mission is to make work that is highly engaging and relevant. We are a creative voice for the stories of the Northern Rivers region and that cannot be washed away. We survive as a result of our imagination,” he said.

Patrick Healey, NORPA's general manager, says the fact the company managed to bump in Circus Oz, as early as last week, despite operating from temporary offices, is "testament to the resilience and strength of NORPA's 24 year history”.

The company is "not fully back, however, and requires further support” says Mr Louis, but a bit like Circus "this is just another chapter full of challenges and risks in a really colourful narrative of the company.”

Topics:  arts northern rivers artstate city hall lismore city council lismore regional art gallery norpa northern rivers conservatorium regional arts nsw screenworks northern rivers


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Councillors vote 8-0 not to support development application

LGBQTI* community takes part in marriage equality action

VOTING FOR CHANGE: Maude Boate will be at the the marriage equality action at Lismore City Hall.

Lismore calls for awareness on marriage equality

Woman felt 'dirty, ashamed' over partner's abuse

Lismore Court House. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

"I thought I was going to lose my life to this person"

Local Partners

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

HIT comedy show heading towards Nimbin.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Felix Riebl wants to be in your arms

TOURING NOW: Australian musician Felix Riebl is coming to the Northern Rivers in June.

Cat Empire frontman brings out his romantic side in solo show

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!